It was announced yesterday (via Bleeding Cool) that director/musician/barber’s nightmare Rob Zombie will be directing a sequel to his 2005 film Devil’s Rejects. This will make it the third film in the series that began with his directorial debut House of 1000 Corpses.
The yet untitled trilogy (I’m going to go with the Tutti fuckin’ Frutti franchise ) follows the horrific serial killing Firefly family. Imagine the Sawyer clan from Texas Chainsaw Massacre on crack and named after Marx Brothers characters. There is the creepily seductive Baby Firefly, psychotic cult leader Otis B. Driftwood, the hilariously over the top Captain Spaulding and many, many others.
House of 1000 Corpses feels like an abstract mish-mash of insanity, violence and Rob Zombie’s ego that at times feels like a music video. The plot is very bare-bones, simply being your average “teen wankers go to a murder house and get murdered” affair, but it is the presentation that makes it something different. The Firefly family are the best part, all being weirdly cartoonish in different ways and always captivating when on screen. As the film goes on, it takes some strange directions that make the whole thing feel like a journey into insanity. The cinematography reflects this, throwing weird and horrific images onto the screen throughout. Zombie does take it too far in places, and I feel like that holds the film back somewhat from being his best film.
For the sequel, Zombie took an entirely different approach. This time, the Firefly family are the protagonists, on the run from the law after their murder house is raided and several of them killed. The film is very much like Bonnie and Clyde or Natural Born Killers, except the protagonists have almost nothing sympathetic about them at all. They murder their way across the county while fleeing from an extremely zealous sheriff who at times seems as bad as they are.
Despite the basic premise, the unlikeable main characters and the apparent lack of message, Zombie somehow makes the film work. The soundtrack is amazing, the performances from the leads great and the use of violence spectacular. This time, the cinematography is much less experimental than in House of 1000 Corpses, but it is appropriate for the more gritty tone necessary for the story. It is probably Mr Zombie’s best film and one of my favourite horror films of the mind-2000s.
So now, twelve years on we have a sequel being made. Will it be an experimental acid trip like House of 1000 Corpses or a murder filled road trip like The Devil’s Rejects? Something entirely new? It’s hard to say (Mr Zombie, if you’re reading this please make it the last one!)
A sequel is also difficult because (SPOILER ALERT unless you’ve read literally any other news article about the film since all of them give it away) all the Firefly family are dead by the end of The Devil’s Rejects. Prequel? Spin-off about the Firefly family dog avenging his owners? Does Rob Zombie care enough about continuity for it to matter?
I guess we’ll just have to wait for more news to come out.